As I write today, our local Tipperary politicians, who are paid salaries on average of €90.000 per annum or €43.25 per hour based on a 40 hour week, not to mention their €125,000 in annual expenses, are all on holiday.
Overall here in Co. Tipperary some 11.7 % of commercial properties (7,475 available business sites) remain unoccupied. In the South of Co. Tipperary, in the town of Clonmel, almost 15% of commercial units remain vacant, (the national average being 12.6%).
Last week politicians Mr Enda Kenny; Mr Alan Kelly; Mr Tom Hayes and Mr Richard Bruton boosted their personal travelling expenses, by trotting into the south of our county to the town of Cahir: here to announce 152 jobs and a €50m Investment at ABP Food Group, all designed to boost in particular the Cahir area and Co. Tipperary in general.
However unlike Enda Kenny’s and Richard Bruton’s attendance at the ‘Banking Inquiry’ hours previously; in ABP Cahir no one produced a Holy Bible asking that all Public Elected Representatives solemnly swear, by Almighty God, to “tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.
Blatant General Election Spin In Co Tipperary.
Enda Kenny: Officially opening the new ABP facility, Taoiseach Enda Kenny appeared not to be wholly informed when he publicly announced 152 future jobs as part of ABP’s investment in Cahir, quoting; “another sign of the progress, momentum and confidence in the Agri-food industry”.
Richard Bruton: Jobs Minister Richard Bruton’s statement appeared to contradict Enda Kenny’s earlier announcement of a future 152 jobs when he added, “We have put in place our regional jobs plans to accelerate employment growth in every area. Today’s announcement that ABP continues to grow employment in Cahir, with 150 jobs created so far and more expected in the future, is a great boost for Tipperary.”
Then came his ‘Location Spin’, “The South East is growing jobs at the fastest rate of any region in the country, and with investments like this we can have confidence that this growth can continue in the coming years.” The East meaning Co. Dublin “Yes Minister,” but surely to add ‘South’ into this equation is somewhat of an exaggeration, especially when talking about a small town in Co. Tipperary.
Alan Kelly: Tipperary’s Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly said the investment demonstrated a strong vote of confidence in both the region and the people of Co. Tipperary. “ABP Food Group has been in Cahir for over 40 years and with over 600 people employed, it has always been a big employer in the area.” he stated.
Tom Hayes: Tipperary’s Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Tom Hayes TD was under no such job illusions when he stated, “This is a huge investment in local Irish food with a global reach. As Minister of State it is heartening to see how the Department’s Beef and Sheep meat Investment Fund has encouraged companies to undertake a series of investments in the future of their industry. I would also like to congratulate ABP on their investment in people and in skills and their pioneering commitment to Origin Green, which brings so many benefits to rural communities.” Unusually no evidence of the promise of future jobs in your statement then Mr Hayes.
Paul Finnerty: ABP chief executive Paul Finnerty made no such futuristic jobs forecast; other than to state that the economic benefits of ABP’s recent redevelopment, particularly during the construction period, “have been delivered during a difficult period for the local labour market”.
The True Current Unemployment Figures In Co. Tipperary.
During the last two months of May 1st to June 30th of the current year, 2015, Co Tipperary’s unemployment figures, shown under the CSO categories of ‘All Ages’ – ‘Both Sexes’ increased / rose by 835 persons.
In the town of Cahir alone, during the same period (May 1st to June 30th 2015), some 74 persons joined the ranks of the unemployed.
To add fuel to this raging furnace, during this same period (May 1st to June 30th 2015) at least 373 unemployed persons here in Co. Tipperary had already been moved off the Unemployment Register to work on Tús schemes (See Rates) and therefore not correctly categorised as being unemployed persons.
The true figures for increased unemployment in Tipperary during the period (May / June 2015) should therefore truly read approximately 1208. This figure does not take into account those other persons who chose to accept emigration. Neither does it take into account those who could not afford to leave this country and have since become a member of that well known unpaid Internship Club called JobBridge; latter which continues to remain unmonitored, offering poor conditions and little if any insurance cover.
Almost 5 years in office and imagine, not even one job created during that time in Co. Tipperary – what an achievement!
To our Tipperary TD’s; enjoy the holidays boys and girls, and remember we the taxpayers have just employed, solely for your benefit, a new fitness instructor to be installed in the Oireachtas Gym on an annual salary of €56,580.
The reason you ask? So that when you return, this instructor can assist in attempting to remove any recently gained, unrendered lard or other acquired fatty tissue from your lazy, useless, fat rear ends.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly has come under fire from Fine Gael Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd, for allegedly doling out more than €1.5 million in unmarked grants to three towns in his own constituency.
According to Mr. O’Dowd TD, the Co. Tipperary politician was put in charge of allocating funding for a campaign to get commuters walking and cycling instead of driving, while then Transport Minister. However, prior to the local elections in May 2014, Minister Kelly gave some €1.5 million from the Active Travel Town Scheme Fund to the towns of Tipperary, Clonmel and Thurles, instead of other listed areas identified by an independent assessment group and which were deemed to be in greater need.
€510,000 Active Travel Town Scheme Funding announced for Thurles by Minister Alan Kelly in April 2014
These revelations come about following the release of an independent scoring system made available under the Freedom of Information, which show that an independent assessment group had already pinpointed these funded projects for other areas.
Dozens of applications were received from towns all over the country for a €6.5 million Active Travel Fund. Mr Kelly, who was then Transport Minister at the time, gave most of the funding to the six highest-scoring small and medium-sized towns, in line with the group’s original recommendations. However he departed from the original scoring system to dole out €1.5million for projects in Thurles, Tipperary and Clonmel all in his own newly enlarged constituency.
The independent assessment expert group gave the Thurles project just 56 marks out of 100, saying it had “little in the line of behavioural change” to get people walking and cycling instead of using their motor vehicles.
To date, over one year later, none of the allocated funding of €510,000 for Thurles, which was first announced in April 2014, has been spent.
Bord na Móna
It has been claimed that Bord Na Mona staff here mid-Tipp may be facing the future of having to reapply for their own jobs, despite the company recently announcing in recent days an annual profit of some €52 million.
This semi-state body is presently attempting to implement cost cutting measures across the Company and recent discussions at the Labour Relations Commission, latter in an attempt to resolve a number of issues, have now ended without further agreement.
The position locally at the Littleton, Co Tipperary, Briquette Manufactoring Plant has been to place production on hold until mid-August, with up to 80 permanent workers remaining either on reduced hours or on temporary lay-off.
Tipperary Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry claims that workers are now being put in an impossible position by being asked to reapply for their own jobs on reduced wages, through the introduction of a pay freeze which is expected to last until at least 2019.
In a statement released through the office of TD Michael Lowry last night, the Deputy has expressed disappointment at the failure of the Labour Relations Commission to resolve a plethora of outstanding issues between Bord na Móna Management and their workforce.
“These talks have now ended without agreement. This is not surprising, considering Management of Bord na Móna have remained very intransigent in these negotiations. While it is accepted that Bord na Móna has many competitive challenges ahead, it must be noted that they have just announced an annual profit of €52 million.
It is therefore unjust to expect the Bord na Móna workforce to submit to proposed enforced pay cuts, a pay freeze and redeployment terms. The proposed terms and conditions of future employment are unacceptable to the vast majority of the Bord na Móna workforce. Bord na Móna Group of Unions will next week make a full submission to the Labour Court. This prolonged dispute is damaging to both the morale and working relationships, between management and staff ,” Mr Lowry stated.
Deputy Lowry called on Bord na Móna to immediately “enter meaningful discussions to find a compromise solution in the interest of the workforce and the long-term future of the Company”.
Following a meeting of Fianna Fáil’s National Constituencies Committee last night, the party have decided to included M/s Siobhán Ambrose and Mr Michael Smith (jnr) on the ticket for the forthcoming General Election, latter expected late this year or in the spring of 2016.
Both candidates had previously lost out to Councillor Jackie Cahill at the Tipperary selection convention, held at the end of May last, in the Anner Hotel, Thurles.
M/s Ambrose, a previous General Election candidate, is based in Clonmel in the south of the county, while Mr Smith is based in Nenagh, in the north of the county.
However in this upcoming General Election the new single constituency of Tipperary will return just five instead of six Dail Deputies; replacing the previous two x 3-seater constituency riding’s of North Tipperary and South Tipperary.
Given the size of this constituency and the now required 30% gender quota introduced for the first time, it was always a foregone conclusion that two extra names would be added to the ticket.
Presently Fianna Fáil have no TD’s in Co. Tipperary, although the present Tipperary South Independent Dáil Éireann representative, Deputy Mattie McGrath did defect from the Fianna Fáil party, prior to the last general election.
All nominated Tipperary Fianna Fáil candidates believe they can now reclaim two lost seats in this newest constituency.
The Joke: “We are seeing a very significant reduction in the number of long-term unemployed people who are getting real jobs in the economy.” Quote by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton, on April 16th 2015.
Unemployment figures for the month of June 2015 once again demonstrate a sharp upward rise for every single town in Co. Tipperary, when compared to the previous month, May 2015.
Monthly figures for June 2015, when compared to the previous month of May 2015 demonstrate that unemployment increased by an extra 452 persons for the whole county of Tipperary.
In total, for just the two combined months of May and June 2015 a total of 835 Tipperary residents, represented under the CSO categories of ‘All Ages’ – ‘Both Sexes’ are now signing for unemployment benefit.
May – June – North Tipperary and Associated Towns 2015.
6,199 – 6,462 – North Tipperary, an overall increase of 263 persons.
2,529 – 2,635 – Nenagh, an increase of 106 persons.
1,164 – 1,187 – Roscrea, an increase of 23 persons.
2,506 – 2,640 – Thurles, an increase of 134 persons.
May – June – South Tipperary and Associated Towns 2015.
7,809 – 7,998 – South Tipperary, an increase of 189 persons.
1,094 – 1,145 – Cahir, an increase of 51 persons.
1,663 – 1,697 – Carrick-On-Suir, an increase of 34 persons.
1,017 – 1,025 – Cashel, an increase of 8 persons.
2,562 – 2,611 – Clonmel, an increase of 49 persons.
1,473 – 1,520 – Tipperary (Town), an increase of 47 persons.
Over this current month (July 2015) unemployment figures are expected to further substantially rise in Tipperary, same due to seasonal job losses in Bord na Móna (Littleton), some 60 plus job losses expected at two C&C facilities (Clonmel and Borrisoleigh) and an unknown number of qualified IT contract workers, latter previously employed with Dublin based companies, but now, with contracts completed, left with no alternative except to return to their homes in Tipperary; once again jobless.
Justice for Clerys workers in Dublin
Sadly on June 12th of this year, 130 understandably devastated direct employees of the iconic Dublin department store, Clerys, lost their jobs. For several days afterwards our national press, radio and television stations carried this news as their top story. During this same period, May CSO Live Register figures showed an increase of some 383 persons unemployed in Co. Tipperary. Today this figure has been even further increased to show 835 unemployed persons. Over the past 3 days there has been no national media coverage, whatsoever, of Tipperary’s devastating and demoralizing unemployment crisis.
Exactly four weeks ago, on the 3rd June 2015, Mr Richard Bruton TD welcomed the publication of the latest official unemployment figures, showing, he claimed, “a continuing decline in the number of people out of work”.
The hard facts now remain; Live Register unemployment figures for Co Tipperary today are almost double the national average.
Once again; Time for our reigning Fine Gael and Labour politicians to take their pensions and just go, in the secure knowledge they have failed dismally the people of Co. Tipperary.